New Zealand gold was on show this afternoon (12.04.14) when Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opened the Avantidrome in their namesake town in the heart of the North Island, in front of Kiwi Olympic gold medallists.
The packed stadium included New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Olympic Gold cyclist Sarah Ulmer and other dignitaries who listened as the Duke paid tribute to New Zealand’s cycling future.
"I know what a special place cycling holds for New Zealanders and what a beneficial and thrilling sport it is. The Avantidrome represents cycling’s pinnacle and no doubt will be a crucible for many of tomorrow’s winners," His Royal Highness said.
Cycling Centre of Excellence
This new velodrome is the National Cycling Centre of Excellence. Based in Cambridge, it features 250m of indoor cycling track for the country’s elite to train on, while also providing a superb venue for community use, allowing the next generation of competitors to don their Lycra and give the many types of cycling a try.
The Duke was presented with a starter gun on a red cushion to start a race between New Zealand’s top riders before being presented with a tiny bike, helmet and a little Lycra shirt with a silver fern on it for Prince George.
"The popular Avanti Lil Ripper’s lightweight alloy frame, wheels and no pedals is perfect for teaching balance and confidence in the early years of learning to ride," said Avanti New Zealand founder John Struthers.
Cycling is a passion for many Kiwis and the country’s ambitious Cycleway project now boasts over 2500km of trails across the length and breadth of New Zealand for cyclists to explore towns, lakes and countryside. From a few minutes to a few days, there is something for everyone at all levels of fitness.
New Zealand Cycle Trail
The Waikato River Trail forms part of Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail, a network of sublimely crafted off-road cycle trails and routes giving riders the chance to experience the majestic beauty of New Zealand from the seat of their bike.
At around 100km it can be experienced with just short rides or the whole trail in four days (approx) passing through peaceful native forest, ecologically important wetlands, culturally significant areas and ancient volcanic rock formations. Hydro dams, suspension bridges and well-crafted boardwalks are also a highlight.
Cambridge, New Zealand puts cycling on the map